Following the UK Health Security Agency’s announcement that people will now be offered smaller but equally effective doses of the vaccine to protect against monkeypox, booking has now opened for people who are eligible for the vaccine, and have used sexual health clinics* across any of the ten areas of Greater Manchester.
The safe and clinically approved approach was used first safely in Stockport on Monday (22nd August) and will now be used at further two clinics on Thursday (25th August) and Tuesday 30th August.
Vaccines will be available on both days between 08:30 am and 18:00 pm at the Northern Sexual Health Service (The Vaccination Hub, 193 Hathersage Road, Manchester, M13 0JE) and people can book here. The clinic is not a walk-in, and appointments should be booked in advance.
The vaccine will as previously be available to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men at highest risk of getting monkeypox (for example if people have multiple partners, participate in group sex or attend ‘sex on premises’ venues, people with a recent bacterial sexually transmitted infection and those eligible for PREP, the preventative drug for HIV transmission), people who have had recent close contact with someone infected with monkeypox, and healthcare workers caring for and due to start caring for a patient with the virus.
People will be eligible if they have used one of the following providers in Greater Manchester:
*Sexual health providers:
- Bolton NHS Foundation Trust [Bolton Centre for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Shine Sexual Health Service (Salford)]
- HCRG [Nye Bevan House, Croft Shifa Health Centre, Middleton Health Centre, Heywood Clinic (all Rochdale); Oldham Integrated Care Centre, Glodwick Primary Care Centre, Royton Health and Wellbeing Centre, Failsworth Primary Care Centre (all Oldham); Bury Townside Primary Care Centre and Radcliffe Primary Care Centre)]
- Locala [The Choices Centre (Stockport) and The Orange Rooms (Tameside)]
- The Northern [in Manchester at the Hathersage Centre, North Manchester General Hospital, Withington Community Hospital, or the Trafford Sexual Health Service (Trafford and Urmston clinics)] and
- Spectrum Community Health CIC [Wigan]
*General Practice (GPs):
- The Docs, Manchester
Christine Khiroya, nurse consultant with lead responsibility for screening and immunisation at NHS Greater Manchester Integrated Care said:
“We’re really pleased that we can run a further two clinics, using our existing stock, to support people to get vaccinated against monkeypox and allow more people to be vaccinated sooner by making greater use of the limited supplies available.
“We’ve had a great response to clinics previously offered across Greater Manchester, with over 2,000 vaccinations to protect against monkeypox now given. I know people are keen to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, and we hope people will come forward and book an appointment. We are expecting to vaccinate around 200 people, split across the two days.”
“Please remember, that as with any vaccine, it won’t give 100% protection, and won’t be effective straight away, so stay alert for symptoms and call NHS 111 or a local sexual health clinic if you have signs of monkeypox, even if it’s just one spot.”
Monkeypox can be passed on from person to person through:
- Any close physical contact with monkeypox blisters or scabs (including during sexual contact, kissing, cuddling, or holding hands).
- Touching clothing, bedding or towels used by someone with monkeypox.
- The coughs or sneezes of a person with monkeypox when they’re close to you.
Keep yourself and others safe:
- Clean your hands regularly with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- Know the symptoms if you’re sexually active, especially with new partners. Talk to partners about their sexual health and remember symptoms can take three weeks to develop, so keep checking yourself.
- Swap contact details if hooking up with someone new.
- If you have symptoms, take a break from all intimate contact (including kissing) until you’ve seen a doctor and had the all-clear. If you’re recovering from monkeypox infection, remember to use condoms for 12 weeks as a precaution.
You can find out more about monkeypox at:
- Monkeypox – NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- LGBT Foundation – Monkeypox Advice
- Monkeypox vaccination resources – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Monkeypox Updates (thenorthernsexualhealth.co.uk)